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Montana Department of Corrections

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Missoula Organization Of Realtors

Missoula County is developing a pilot program to help former prisoners find housing.

No small task in a community with a notoriously tight and expensive rental market.

George Wilcoxen at his sentencing in January
Nicky Ouellet

A Bigfork man convicted of felony sexual assault on a minor in January has been allowed to withdraw the plea he gave at that time. He’s now scheduled to go back to court for a jury trial later this year.

George Wilcoxen submitted an Alford plea in January to the 2013 sexual assault of a 6-year-old girl. An Alford plea allowed him to maintain his innocence while acknowledging that the prosecution likely had enough evidence for a jury to convict him.

George Wilcoxen at his sentencing in January
Nicky Ouellet

This story was updated at 9:30 am on Feb. 14, 2018 with the following editor's note: As we reported previously, George Wilcoxen was sentenced after entering an Alford plea, an Alford plea allows him to maintain his innocence while acknowledging that the prosecution likely had enough evidence for a jury to convict him. Wilcoxsen maintains that he is innocent. 

When a Bigfork man was sentenced last month for sexually assaulting a six-year-old child, the victim’s mother thought that would be the last time she’d see him for a while. We’re not using her name to protect the victim’s identity.

"It was my impression right up until the very last minute that would for sure be a prison sentence," she said.

George Wilcoxen, age 73, was sentenced, but not to prison. 

State corrections Director Reginald Michael’s at a Capitol press conference July 19, 2017 with Sen. Cynthia Wolken and Gov. Steve Bullock.
Montana Department of Corrections

The Director of Montana’s Department of Corrections had few details on last week’s firing of the warden at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge when state lawmakers asked him about it Monday.

Cynthia Wolken is the new deputy director of the Montana Department of Corrections.
Montana Legislature

A Missoula Democratic state senator is leaving her seat and stepping into the role of deputy director of state corrections.

The Montana Department of Corrections announced Tuesday that Senator Cynthia Wolken was selected to help lead the department along with Director Reginald Michael.

Montana’s only private prison has allegedly offered a $30 million dollar bailout to help the state with its budget woes. However, there's a catch.

In order to receive the $30 million dollars from CoreCivic, the company that owns the prison, the Bullock administration would need to extend that company’s contract for another ten years.

Montana Department of Corrections

Tough decisions about state budget cuts are on the table before lawmakers in Helena Wednesday and Thursday. They’re facing a $282 million revenue shortfall.

A state agency facing some of the steepest budget cuts is Corrections, which stands to lose about $40 million.

Montana Department of Corrections


Medicaid expansion saved the Montana Department of Corrections $7.6 million in the fiscal year that ended in July.

State budgets.

Proposed budget cuts could make the overcrowding at Montana’s jails and prisons worse. Groups supporting local law enforcement warned lawmakers of potential consequences of the coming cuts during the Law and Justice Interim Committee this afternoon.

Today's bill signing ceremony at the capitol
Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock formally signed a slate of bills today aiming to address the state’s problem of overcrowded prisons.